Tutorial: Prior Felony Convictions and Sentencing

How does a prior felony conviction affect my sentence?

Defendants with a prior felony criminal history are subject to the sentencing guidelines listed under the repetitive sentencing statutes. These statutes increases the range of prison time depending upon the felony type and number of prior felony convictions.

Class 1, 2, and 3 felonies are allegeable as “historical” convictions for ten years after you complete the sentence (not from the date of offense) under the repetitive sentencing guidelines. 

Class 4, 5, and 6 felonies are allegeable as historical convictions for five years after you complete the sentence. 

Many crimes in Arizona are allegeable for the rest of your life, such as DUI and certain sex offenses. 

If the prior conviction is so old that it cannot be used to treat the new crime as repetitive, then it can still be used as an “aggravating factor” to enhance your sentence on the new crime. This is especially true if they are similar types of offenses. 

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